U.S.A., Washington State. USDA zone 8a. Sunset climate zone 5

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I Won’t Show This To My Houseplants

I have a confession to make . During my last travel, to the wonderful land of sunshine, breathtaking views, olives, lemons  and Limoncello, I didn’t miss my own garden!
I know,  it would be more appropriate to say that the thoughts of my own garden never left me. I could say that they followed my walks through the old narrow streets , stirred my mind during ferry rides from Sorrento to Capri and back and… well, you got the idea.  But, I am an honest person, and I am honestly saying: Nope. I didn’t miss my garden, I didn’t worry about it, and the only concern, related to it,  was: do they pick up my tomatoes? As I found out later, the did, but very few. Upon my return, I found many tomatoes rotten or eaten by slugs.  It was late summer, tomatoes came not at the end of July, as usual, but in September. That is why tomatoes were on my mind.
While on the Amalfi coast of Italy, I didn’t have time to think about my garden. All my time was consumed by walking, sightseeing, admiring what I saw and getting excited and inspired. Between the walks (and there were a LOT of them!),  I was sitting in a little outdoor café or on a bench near the town square and watching people.
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Not thinking much about my own garden, I caught myself thinking about my houseplants pretty often. Always, the thought would come in a form of a question : But why doesn’t MY plant grow like this? Let me show you some pictures with amazing philodendrons, pothos vines, orchids, birds of paradise, etc. which in some parts of the world, of course, grow in the wild, but in my place are used as houseplants.  Most of the pictures were taken in the beautiful hotel Le Sirenuse in Positano (except the next one, from the hotel Santa Caterina in Amalfi). No, we didn’t stay in Le Sirenuse, but we spent some time in its quiet, inviting sitting rooms  hiding from the rain and enjoying afternoon drinks.
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You might want to click on the pictures to see splendid  furniture and fine architectural details and oh so beautiful Italian tiles!
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For a fan of turquoise, green and blue colors, it was THE place to be! I think places like this can serve as a source of inspirational interior design ideas. How do you like this brilliant yellow color? Yellow is not my favorite color, but something tells me I could live with it during the grey days of our rainy season.
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I think I got carried away again. Back to house plants. Actually, I guess the answer to my question is pretty clear. To have my plants grow better, I need to remember to feed them, provide them with moss sticks, move them further from the heating vents, and set them outside in a shady spot during summer.
                                                         Since we are already here, in this beautiful hotel, let me show you what treasures they have outside.
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Lemon trees in terracotta pots, vines that are hugging the walls and columns and, again, this beautiful tile! And what views are there for everyone’s enjoyment! Even the low-hanging clouds couldn’t spoil them. They rather add some drama and mystery.
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Houses clinging on the side of the cliff, boats down there, rain water on the tile floor… Ahhh…
             I think I will return to these pictures again and again. Did I tell you I have 1200 of them?
Thanks for hanging around! Now, I need to go and take care of my houseplants… It’s time to bring my Chlorophytum  inside. It spent the summer  outside like its relatives in the pictures below. Although, it didn’t have such a picturesque location as those. BTW, is it an Aloe in the right  picture?
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And is it a Schefflera on the left?
Why did I name this post ‘I Won’t Show This To My Houseplants ‘? I am afraid they can pack their suitcases and go to the Amalfi coast, the wonderful land of sunshine, breathtaking views, olives, lemons  and Limoncello, where they can grow big and beautiful.
Arrivederci, my friends, arrivederci!
Copyright 2010 TatyanaS
positano prints


  1. Welcome home Tatyana, and thank you very much for your awesome, inspiring presents from Italy. These are wonderful treasures, and we are definitely excited by all of them. It's just sad not all of us can take that tour so we can also feel the same, cherish everything in the place; i still remember the photo of the barefoot man enjoying the place as if it is his living room. Thanks a lot, i hope you travel to far places again, and we will wait for our presents.

  2. What a beautiful place, Tatyana! How did you decide which direction to look first? Everywhere you look, there are wonderful things to see. I can see how the thoughts of your garden were blocked out.

    Our tomatoes are very late ripening, too. We've only had few so far, but more and more are starting to be ready. Now, if we can postpone a frost for a little while.

    I didn't get my outdoor or indoor houseplants watered often enough. They are not too happy looking right now.

  3. Goodness, on the occasions I've had houseplants, they've never looked anything like that. I generally suffer from brown thumbs indoors, although, in my own defense, not all of the places I've lived have had bright and sunny exposures to allow houseplants to thrive. Maybe I need to move to Italy? :P

  4. Holy smokes-1200 pictures is a LOT! I love Italy but haven't been to this part. I lived near Venice for a few months and have also traveled here. The Italians garden so well-in fact I think all the Europeans do. Your blog would be a great travel blog with all your travels as you sure do show true passion for the wonderful places you've visited.

  5. Can I pack my bags and go with them? Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful pictures. I, too, visited that wonderful part of Italy a couple of years ago with my daughter. I fell in love with Sorrento and the surrounding areas. Your pictures brought back some lovely memories! So glad that you ejoyed your trip! Carla

  6. Who can blame you when the world is your garden. Our housebound friends are only pale copies of their wild cousins, despite all our care and love.

  7. Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures with us! They bring back of my time living in Central Europe. While I was never anyplace so elegant, I miss the european architecture and style....

  8. I think my mind would not have been on my garden, either. I love the vines growing inside....would that be considered a vertical garden? :) I would love to have that tile indoors!!

  9. Beautiful pictures! I love how they have delicately trained the vines up the interior walls.

  10. How marvelous the vines look climbing the walls. Just such a beautiful place for a vacation. The decor does inspire one to take some of the things to adapt to your own home. Such a gorgeous place.I hope you enjoyed your visit.
    One thing though Tatyana, I would not want to be a sleep walker and live there. LOL! Right out of the house and the only way is down.

  11. I love the combination of yellow and turquoise in these photos, perfect in that setting. At first I thought there was stenciling all over the walls till I realized those were real vines climbing to the ceiling! Truly a paradise, and you took only 1200 photos?

  12. OK, I am ready to go too! Beautiful photos of the hillside village Tatyana. I can honestly say too . . . I would not miss my garden a bit while visiting a place such as the Amalfi Coast or most anywhere in Italy. ;>)

  13. What a fabulous hotel. Amazing views. I could certainly imagine going to Amalfi coast and never leave. Super photos, thanks for sharing.

  14. When I was in Venice I barely slept once the sun rose. I just kept looking out the window, soaking in every moment. Did I squeeze in any thoughts of my garden? NO WAY!!!

  15. Gawd I love Italy. And your eye for photography.

  16. What a beautiful place! I think I would have been the same and keep thinking, why does my plants don't grow like this.
    Glad to see you had fun at your trip

  17. I had to stop back again to see the wonderful photos of your trip. I have been following along and you must have had the most wonderful time, your images say so. Welcome back.

  18. Dear Tatyana, I have my own confession to make...I have never kept a houseplant alive.Well, to be accurate, never for longer than a week. When they arrive, they resemble the ones you show here, but rapidly they turn another colour [ usually a sickly yellow] and then turn up their toes and die. I now do not miss them and I do not have them!!

  19. Gorgeous place isn't it! I want to go, too! I must admit when I was in Provence~I imagined living there and how gardening would be an entirely different experience! gail

  20. These days I have a very limited collection of houseplants. Seeing these photos is enough to make me reconsider. I love those yellow chairs- so warm and inviting! And those turquoise tiles on the floor are spectacular.

  21. Delighted you took us back, Tatyana! It's good to get away ... the farther we get from home, the less we worry and focus, as you did, on the moment. My friends recently returned from their similar trip, though a cruise and spend awesome time on the Amalfi coast, and we are joining them tomorrow night (at our cottages up north) to see their 350 pics. Living my life vicariously, I can't wait and want to share with them your awesome photos :)

  22. Dear Tatyana, What a wonderful trip you took. I completely understand why you did not miss your own garden. One thought: our houseplants would look like those if we employed people to take care of them -- as they probably do. I am happy you are safely home. Pam x

  23. I think it would have been rather sad (in a negative way) if you had gone to such a beautiful place and, instead of having a lovely holiday, you had spent your time thinking of your garden!

    On the other hand, I know what you mean about house plants when you see them rampant elsewhere. - And, sometimes, you don't even have to go to exotic places to see them like this. I have friends in London (of all places) who have a begonia (of all plants(!) ) growing up the wall of their bedroom (of all rooms) and across the ceiling! Talk about house plants (Triffids)!


  24. What a gorgeous place. Italy is the ONLY place I would consider flying over the ocean for.

  25. Wow, Tatyana...what an exquisite place. The colours, the light, the foliage...those tiles...I'm so glad you got to experience all this, and share it with us.

  26. You Italy is fabulous, and those houseplants make mine look puny.

  27. Wow!! Absolutely breathtaking!!

  28. We stayed at Le Sirenuse in 2005 and can really appreciate your pictures and the others from the amazing Amalfi Coast. Should be on everybody's bucket list. Thanks for all of your garden and travel posts. I enjoy reading and sharing them.

  29. Thank you so much for looking at happy Italian plants! I agree, someone very experienced takes care of them, plus warm climate, plus some other things. Esther, what you say about your friend is unbelievable! This is what we call a green thumb!

  30. aloha,

    what a fun visit, reminds me of our trip last year to beautiful positano...loved it :)

  31. Oh Tatyana, lovely post, I spent my birthday in Italy three years ago, I didn't want to come home! Great images, thank you!


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